Students grumble over sidewalk stumbles

Some sidewalks at Fresno State are in disrepair, causing some students to fall or lose their balance.

Some sidewalks at Fresno State are in disrepair, causing some students to fall or lose their balance.

Kayla Stanphill, a speech pathology transfer student, carries a heavy load on the front of her wheelchair, and struggles to maneuver over the sidewalks at Fresno State.

“In the first week of classes, I was literally ejected from my [wheel]chair from hitting the bumps,” Stanphill said.  “I’m on campus three days a week, and out of those three days, I fell out of my chair five times.”

Stanphill said she never had a problem at her junior college, but now avoids certain areas and leaves as many books at home as she can.  She said the areas that need the most repairs are right in front of the Satellite Student Union and the brick path by the library.

Rick Finden, director of plant operations, said the sidewalks are a serious issue on campus and are talked about all the time.

“Not only is it a safety issue, it’s an accessibility issue and a high priority,” Finden said.

He said the main problem is funding, but this year plant operations is going to be repave the back of the amphitheater by the music building because there were two accidents in that area of old asphalt.

Finden said there is a deferred maintenance list that goes toward recommendations for funding, and only so much money gets cut loose for sidewalks and building repairs.

The North Gym area and the quad by Family and Food Science, are in the plans to be worked on this summer.

Advertising student and longboard enthusiast Jacob Ponder agreed that the sidewalks should be given more attention.

“The money could be used towards it more because it is something that is used every day,” Ponder said.

Matthew Schneider, an advertising student and longboard rider, said there are several areas on campus that need work.

“Right next to [McKee] Fisk and Family and Food Science, the middle area is horrible,” Schneider said.

He also admitted to falling off his longboard once in front of the booths in the Free Speech Area, and said that was embarrassing.  Schneider feels that more money should be going toward repairing the sidewalks, especially in the quad area.

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